Do You Need More Vitamin D?
With fall and winter right around the corner, you’ll likely find yourself spending far more time indoors than out- and subsequently, people can experience vitamin D deficiencies this type of year.
What Is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D, often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin,” is actually a fat-soluble hormone that the body can make naturally. There are several forms, including two that are important to humans: D2 and D3. Vitamin D2 is made by plants, and vitamin D3 is made by humans when skin is exposed to ultraviolet-B (UVB) rays from sunlight. Vitamin D helps to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus.
Why Is Vitamin D Necessary?
- Assists in the absorption of calcium and promotes bone mineralization
- Can prevent or slow the progression of osteoporosis
- Strengthens the immune system
- Provides protection from hypertension, psoriasis, several autoimmune diseases (including multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis), and reduce the incidence of fractured bones
- Growing evidence has demonstrated its important role in defending against cancer (studies link a deficiency of vitamin D to as many as 18 different cancers).
SOURCES OF VITAMIN D
It isn’t easy to get enough vitamin D from your diet. While fortified vitamin D foods such as milk and cereals are available, most provide vitamin D2- a form which is not as well utilized by the body than D3. Good dietary sources of D3 include things such as fortified foods, eggs, mushrooms, salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines.
Sunlight causes our bodies to make vitamin D, so daily exposure is helpful. Exposing the face and hands to roughly 10 minutes of direct sunlight daily is quite safe and a good way to boost vitamin D, so even a quick walk can do the body good!
For more help uncovering the importance of vitamin-rich foods, contact one of our Registered Dietitians who can meet with you at the Alexander Y! Many insurance companies, such as Blue Cross Blue Shield, completely cover visits with a Registered Dietitian up to six times per year! Not convinced? Check out all the benefits of working with a Registered Dietitian by clicking here.
Ready to make an appointment with a Registered Dietitian?
For morning appointments, contact Katherine Andrew at Andrew.Katherine@gmail.com
For evening appointments, contact Andrea Groon at firstname.lastname@example.org